BEHIND THE LINES: Let him talk PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 June 2014 11:31



Yes, he must be allowed to talk, nay lecture, illuminate (if the issue is murky) and bring to light (if the councilors are still too dumb to understand, and I know they’re not)) the provisions of the Bangsamoro law that will create a totally new Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Cong. Celso L. Lobregat, perhaps more than any sitting congressman from Mindanao, knows the issues like the palm of his right hand. His research on the matter is extensive, I know that for a fact. He is correct: we have to make damn sure that Zamboanga City is OUT of the new ARMM. His clarion call to ensure that Zamboanga is NOT INCLUDED in the ARMM has rent the air that which we breath.

I know how Council Kim Elago, et al., opposed to Mr. Lobregat’s presence in the city council, feel. They know it is a window of opportunity for the ex-mayor and a come-backing one to keep the fire burning on the ARMM issue and everything that has to do with it — although quite unnecessary because it is a non-issue owing to the fact that we have been EXCLUDED from the proposed Bangsamoro homeland.

By way of memory recall, Mr. Lobregat was elected to congress in 1998 for pouncing on the creation of the SPCPD (Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development), a President Ramos creation, and the proposed concreting of the Zamboanga-Licomo highway that would have cost the city government a straggering P400 million or so. He is now bereft of tangible issues that will propel him back to City Hall in 2016. That’s a sure thing — his running for mayor again. He, City Hall and Sec. Dinky Soliman have miserably failed in providing shelter to those displaced by the MNLF siege last September. Those displaced people are still encamped comfortably at the sports complex and along R.T. Lim boulevard, two landmarks named after two respectable gentlemen — Mayor Joaquin F. Jaldon-Enriquez, Jr. and Sen. Roseller Tarroza-Lim. In case you don’t know it, Mr. Lobregat (maybe upon his own request) was appointed by Mayor Ma. Isabel Climaco-Salazar as rehabilitation czar for the victims of the MNLF violent attack 10 months ago.

But, yes, give him another spectacular moment, a chance, to defend our non-inclusion in the new ARMM. “A wise man turns chance into good fortune,” Thomas Fuller wrote. It’s definitely a rehash, a replay, of what he has been espousing here and in lower House. My goodness, even HBO do re-runs. For the “Magnificent 7” who voted not to listen to him, they can always leave the session room to smoke outside the legislative building and come back after two hours. That’s how long it will take for Mr. Lobregat to lecture as his historical data dates back 1976. Who knows, he might have a shocker. And when “we find it amusing to shock people, we forget how shocking an experience it is.”

Let him talk, as the majority of the councilors wish. They’re party-mates, for screaming out load! To those who voted against Mr. Charlie Mariano’s resolution, don’t be a wet blanket. It doesn’t do any good to be a grouch.

The campaign period for the 2016 elections has begun, in case you didn’t notice it. Those with issues, other than the new ARMM, should start using the tri-media like Mr. Lobregat does so expertly and smartly to espouse their platforms and projections for Zamboanga. Gimini Crickets. There’s a load of things to be done that this and past administrations have so inanely overlooked. To name a few: peace and order; traffic; social amelioration that will lead to economic prosperity; invigorating water supply; stimulating businesses through substantial power output; and, as I have prayed to all the angels and saints the last 35 years, transfer the existing airport elsewhere to spur real progress.

These are the issues that will get anyone elected. And, of course, the medium of exchange — MONEY.